Sometimes it’s hard to turn on the television, open a magazine, or log on to the Internet without running into a report on just what people should be eating these days. Of course, you want your senior parent to eat healthy, and you’d like to follow the advice of the experts. But, when your parent has diabetes, it can be hard to know which foods are okay to include in their meal plan. The list below is a compilation of superfoods recommended specifically for diabetics by the experts at the American Diabetes Association and WebMD.
Yes, sweet potatoes are a starch, and you probably know that you need to watch the amount of carbs your parent eats. However, the body does need some carbs for energy and sweet potatoes are a better option than white potatoes because they have a lower glycemic impact (GI). They also give your parent a healthy dose of vitamin A and fiber.
Whole grains are another healthy carb choice. It’s important to choose whole grains over processed grains because the nutrients of grains are found in the germ and bran, which are missing from processed grains. Whole grains contain magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids, folate, and chromium. Some whole grain options are barley, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa.
Green, Leafy Vegetables
Salads made with fresh greens are an excellent way to add nutrients to your parent’s diet. Try to serve those that are dark green, like spinach, kale, and collards. Iceberg lettuce, while tasty and traditional, has fewer nutrients, so it’s not as good a choice. You can also cook greens to make a healthy side dish.
Fat-Free Dairy Products
Skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium and vitamin D, which are important for bone health. You can also choose low-fat products, like cottage cheese or 1% milk. However, if your parent plans to splurge with a cheesy slice of pizza, be sure to adjust the foods they eat for the remainder of the day.
Did you know that your parent can get a third of their daily fiber requirement by eating just a half cup of beans? Not only are beans a great source of fiber, they are also an excellent way to get protein. A half cup of protein has as much fiber as an ounce of red meat. Unlike red meat, beans contain no saturated fat. If you plan to use canned beans, choose low-salt options and rinse them to remove excess sodium.
If you worry about what your diabetic parent eats, consider hiring a senior care provider to assist them with preparing meals. Sometimes seniors who live alone don’t want to go through the trouble of cooking a meal just for themselves, so they grab whatever is easy, which may not be the best choice. A senior care provider can make meals and snacks for your parent according to your instructions and using healthy foods. If your parent doesn’t like eating alone, a senior care provider can even sit with them while they eat, making the meal a social occasion instead of a chore.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Carrollton, TX, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands of Preston Hollow today at (214) 420-1212.